Wherefor art thou, Shia LaBeouf? The former Transformers star went through a stretch where he truly was on top of the world. His co-stars included Michael Douglas (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), Anthony Hopkins (Bobby) and Will Smith (I, Robot). Steven Spielberg thought enough of this kid’s raw talent to cast him as Indiana Jones’ son (!!) in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But LaBeouf has been quiet lately, averaging one movie a year as he works on various projects outside of the studio film world. For example, above we have the new poster, courtesy of IGN, for the upcoming drama Charlie Countryman, which is making it way to theaters in November after a Sundance Film Festival premiere back in January.
LaBeouf is easing back into steady film work as 2013 is beginning to come to a close, starting with Fredrik Bond’s Charlie Countryman, which will be in theaters (in limited release) on November 15th. LaBeouf plays the title character, a simple guy who falls in love with a girl (played by Evan Rachel Wood)… who happens to be the “property” of a crime boss. Here’s a dreamy, romantic clip from the film that was released previously. I wonder if things go downhill from here?
Why am I thinking so negatively? Because when Bond’s film played Sundance, it screened under the name The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, which is MUCH cooler title and one that the studio should have fought to keep.
It also doesn't help that reviews out of Sundance were unkind. Three blurbs on the film’s Rotten Tomatoes page dismiss the film as “unnecessary,” which is pretty harsh (albeit also a pun on the original title). Normally a film like this is able to generate some heat on the festival circuit, then capitalize on that buzz by hitting theaters at the opportune time. Charlie Countryman might have waited too long, as it now has to reintroduce itself to audiences who probably don’t remember anything they read about it back in the day (but perhaps that's a good thing).
The Charlie Countryman cast, alone, could get people into theaters. In addition to LaBeouf and Wood, the ensemble rounds out with the always wonderful Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint (continuing to find his way in a post-Harry Potter world), Melissa Leo and Vincent D’Onofrio. For more on the film, here’s the cast sitting down with The Hollywood Reporter at Sundance to talk about filming in Romania.
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